Over the last several days, the Guam Department of Education has been receiving and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) in preparation for the reopening of schools.
All public, private and charter schools in Guam will be receiving PPE supplies over the coming week to include thermal scanners, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, alcohol sprays, and a mask for every student and employee. Additionally, certain personnel, such as school nurses, special education employees, and cafeteria workers, will be receiving additional PPE supplies such as gloves and face shields.
“On Saturday and last week, we pushed out thermal scanners for the schools that Guam Homeland Security provided. We also pushed out over 13,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. We received another delivery of 18,000 hand sanitizers which we are trying to push out over the next day or two. In total, we will be distributing close to 45,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to the schools,” said GDOE District School Readiness Task Force member Doris Bukikosa, who has been leading the GDOE’s effort to procure PPE for Guam’s schools.
The GDOE was able to purchase needed PPE supplies thanks to funding by the Education Stabilization Fund State Education Agency (ESF-SEA) under the Cares Act, which is administered by the GDOE Federal Programs Division State Education Agency.
Additionally, the Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) donated PPE to GDOE earlier this month, to include: 164 thermal scanners, 4,348 face shields, 205 packs of disinfectant wipes, 20,800 non-medical gloves, and 87 goggles. In addition, GDOE will be receiving additional supplies through the Department of Public Health and Social Services, such as N-95 masks, gowns, shoe covers, caps and gloves for school nurses. GDOE is also expecting additional supplies for nurses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Supplies will be distributed to GDOE, private and charter schools based on school populations and the number of students registered for face-to-face enrollment.
On Monday, the GDOE received delivery of disposable face masks, to include sizing to fit both adults and children. “We will also be receiving medical-grade N-95 masks for school nurses,” Bukikosa added.
Additionally, camera thermal scanners with monitors will also be provided to all public, private, and charter schools with a population of 1,000 students or more. This will allow schools to more efficiently screen students and visitors as they arrive on campuses.
“I would like to thank our GDOE team for working around the clock to procure the necessary PPE to ensure we can safely sustain school operations as we work to reopen schools next week,” GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said. “We are committed to the safety of our students and employees and hope that providing these supplies will help to minimize any health risks for our school communities.”
“We want to reassure our parents and employees that we will do everything we possibly can to keep our school communities safe and prepared,” Deputy Superintendent Erika Cruz said. “We are doing our best to use our resources wisely, and we would like to thank our community partners, Public Health, Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense, the Office of the Governor as well as FEMA for supporting our efforts.”
(GDOE News Release)